Lorraine Boulevard
400 block

404 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 95' of Lot 132
  • Built in 1952; BP for foundation issued 2-25-1952; BP for house itself and BP for garage issued 3-18-1952; C of O issued 10-28-1952
  • Original commissioner: Lillian F. Warner, wife of Edward C. Warner, founder and president of Los Angeles Towel Service
  • Architect: Clarence J. Smale
  • Contractor: Stanley K. Mark
  • Mr. and Mrs. Warner moved from 69 Fremont Place, which they had had the same architect build for them 12 years before. Smale was an architect known for his movie theaters, including the dazzling Loyola on Sepulveda Boulevard; it seems he must have liked the Warners very much to take a commission as relatively modest as 404 Lorraine. At any rate, the house appears mercifully unmolested and as such is an excellent example of the mid-period of Windsor Square design
  • Edward Warner was still living at 404 when he died on 9-18-1961; his widow sold the house by the next year

414 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 70' of Lot 131 and southerly 4.6' of Lot 132
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 1-6-1920
  • Original commissioner: real estate investor Jeanette N. Clark, apparently on spec, as she would build 320 South Irving Boulevard around the corner later in 1920 
  • Architect and contractor are indicated on both BPs as "same," referring to Mrs. Clark
  • The Los Angeles Times of 1-23-1921 reported that Mrs. Clark had recently sold 414 to Richard H. Hood, who two years later would be building 145 North Rossmore Avenue in Hancock Park
  • The house would be on the market frequently; after being offered for at least a year from the fall of 1925, Harry D. Rice, vice-president of the Paul G. Hoffman Company, Studebaker distributor and dealer, came to occupy 414 until his death on 12-27-1932. It was again on the market in the summer of 1934 and then again for a year from January 1937
  • After acquiring the house, attorney Alex W. Davis and his wife Virginia Lamb Davis made miscellaneous alterations starting in February 1938; the Davises separated within the decade, Mr. Davis moving to the University Club and expiring in Pomona in 1951. "Mrs. Lamb Davis," as she styled herself in the manner of some divorced women of the time, retained 414 until 1960; in 1957 she sued renters for damages

In a rendering seen in the Los Angeles Times on 1-23-1921, the upper central area of the façade
 of 414 Lorraine Boulevard appears in what may have been its original configuration.

419 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lots 99, 100, and northerly 10' of Lot 101
  • Built in 1912; BP for a 14-room residence issued 3-1-1912; for garage 10-9-1912. (Street address assignments were not yet finalized; an early designation appears on some records as "420"; the BP for the garage indicates address as "415.")
  • Original commissioner: Jeanette G. Donovan, a widowed real estate investor recently arrived from St. Louis. At her death in 1961 at the age of 100, she was eulogized as a painter, harpist, and singer
  • Architect: Parker O. Wright Jr.
  • Contractor: Willard-Slater Company (Raymond H. Willard and Walter Slater)
  • It should be noted that some sources contend that Theodore Eisen, rather than Parker O. Wright Jr., was the architect of 419 Lorraine Boulevard; most often cited for this assertion is information provided on the 1973 application to have the property declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument. On that document the house's original architect is cited as "I. Eisen," which has been presumed to be a reference to Theodore Eisen, who in 1912 was in practice in Los Angeles with his son Percy, their firm well-established and unlikley not to have been given credit for an important residential commission. It is unclear as to where the monument applicant might have come up with "I. Eisen," but to that party research done 61 years after construction of the house appears, curiously, to have trumped information provided clearly on the original building permit of 3-1-1912, as seen below—though perhaps the document was then unavailable—as well as contemporary newspaper and trade-journal reportage. The Los Angeles Record of 9-16-1911, the Los Angeles Herald of 9-17-1911, the Los Angeles Times of 1-14-1912, and the trade journal Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer of 1-27-1912 all cite Parker O. Wright Jr. as the architect of 419 Lorraine Boulevard. Earlier in 1911 Mrs. Donovan had had Parker O. Wright design an 800-seat theater building at 533 South Main Street as an investment; the building housed Woodley's Optic Theatre—later simply the Optic—for decades. There is also some recent confusion as to the original contractor of the house, one recent source citing Frank L. Meline as the builder. While Meline, having become a major Los Angeles residential builder, was noted as the designer and contractor on projects at 419 commissioned in 1920 by Mrs. Donovan's successor, he was in 1911 still working as a window dresser at Hamburger's department store, just transitioning to his very successful career as an architectural designer, builder, and real estate developer, one much involved in the construction of residences in Windsor Square. (The apparently indefatigable Meline also became the owner and operator of the Hollywood Laundry Company and would go on to expand in that field in conjuction with his real estate endeavors, perhaps as a hedge in case of a financial downturn) 
  • An item in the Times on 9-12-1911 noted Mrs. Donovan's $10,000 purchase of her Windsor Square parcel and her intention of building a $30,000 Colonial house on it
  • The house has been known as "Sunshine Hall," a name apparently given to it by Jeanette Donovan
  • Jeanette Donovan sold 419 to Harwood Huntington in 1919. Huntington, who had arrived in Los Angeles that year, was an Episcopal clergyman, author, scientist, lawyer, and filmmaker (once in California, he established the Sacred Films Company). Huntington proceeded to hire builder Frank Meline to make miscellaneous alterations to the house (BP issued 5-3-1920) and to expand the property; two separate BPs were issued to Huntington on 5-10-1920 to add servants' quarters and, apparently, another garage. It is unclear as to whether the corner Lot 99 had been added to the property by Donovan or by Huntington, or whether the outbuildings planned in 1920 were actually built. The Reverend died at 419 on 1-4-1923, leaving his wife and three young children. They remained in the house, settling in for a long stay. In 1925, Grace Huntington hired architect Roy Selden Price to build another garage including servants' quarters (BP issued 7-22-1925), which is on Lot 99 today
  • Sold to banker Hugh Hinton Evans in 1943; Evans was married to Gladys Crail, daughter of Judge Charles S. Crail, who had moved his house from Western Avenue to Windsor Square in 1923 (see 4451 Wilshire Boulevard). Mrs. Evans died in Montecito on 1972. Still living at 419, Mr. Evans died at 90 on 2-4-1987. The house was on the market within months, offered at $1,695,000
  • Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #115
  • For more on the colorful Jeanette Donovan, see Paradise Leased
  • For a view of 419 soon after its completion, please see our Introduction

Colonial Revival domestic architecture that had been popular in the east
for a decade or so was gaining a firmer foothold in Southern California; although
gloomier and busier styles with large gables and darker façades would remain popular
along with Mediterranean variations, the brighter palette and more symmetrical lines of the
Colonial would come to be a breath of fresh air on many blocks of Windsor Square. The house
at 419 Lorraine Boulevard was one of the first houses of any kind to be built in the sub-
division; it is seen here above in the Times on 1-14-1912 and below as it appeared
in the trade journal Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer on 1-27-1912.

The original building permit for 419 Lorraine Boulevard
clearly indicates Parker O. Wright Jr. as architect, the Willard-
Slater Company as contractor. Below: 419 as featured on the
cover of a Sunday supplement in the Times, 9-11-1955.

420 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; northerly 45' of Lot 130 and southerly 30' of Lot 131
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 12-23-1919
  • Original commissioner: Arthur C. Davis, son-in-law and business partner of Sanson M. Cooper in the S. M. Cooper Company; for resale. Davis and Cooper and the firm's frequent designer, Robert D. Jones, built 426 Lorraine next door at the same time, also on spec
  • Purchased by Midwestern hardware executive Thomas Cornish Dymond by 1924; Mr. Dymond died in Los Angeles on 1-28-1925. His widow, Letitia W. Dymond, remained in the house until her death on 1-26-1947

425 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; southerly 90' of Lot 101
  • Built in 1917; BPs for house and garage issued 8-30-1917
  • Original commissioner: retired Chicago merchant Caesar Samuels
  • Architect and contractor: Frank L. Meline
  • The Los Angeles Times of 8-12-1917 described the house as a 12-room hollow-tile residence "to be finished in American satinwood and mahogany"
  • Samuels, a philanthropist and director of the Federation of Jewish Societies, was shot in the organization's offices at 252 South Bunker Hill Avenue by a crazed gunman on 1-9-1920. While his wounds were initially thought to be mortal, Samuels recovered. Rose Samuels, his wife, died in Los Angeles on 3-22-1923, after which time the couple's niece Betty Meyer and her husband, Benjamin, a furniture salesman, moved into 425 with Caesar. Benjamin died before 1930. Caesar Samuels and Betty Meyer were still living at 425 when he died on 7-26-1935 at the age of 84; Mrs. Meyer soon sold the house to tile manufacturer Harold A. Blumenthal
  • By 1948, 425 was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Alfred L. Maguire and her mother, Margaret F. Boyle. After Mrs. Boyle died in October 1953, the house was put on the market early the next year, asking $38,500
  • Soon occupying 425 was insurance man Robert C. Hess, whose family would remain in the house into the 21st century

The architect's rendering as seen in the Los Angeles Times on 8-12-1917

426 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; southerly 55' of Lot 130 and northerly 25' of Lot 129
  • Built in 1920; BPs for house and garage issued 1-6-1920
  • Original commissioner: Arthur C. Davis, son-in-law and business partner of Sanson M. Cooper in the S. M. Cooper Company; for resale. The S. M. Cooper Company built 420 Lorraine Boulevard next door at the same time, also on spec
  • Architect: Robert D. Jones in partnership with Sanson M. Cooper acting as contractor
  • The identities of the owners of 426 Lorraine during its first 18 years are obscure. The house did not sit empty, of course; among other indicators of occupancy, such as directory listings of servants, an auction of its contents was held on 3-18-1930
  • In 1939, the family of Blackstone Smith, sales manager of the Holly Products Company (a cleanser manufacturer in Vernon), moved in
  • In 1943, the house was purchased by contractor Harry W. Baum, who immediately installed a new fireplace (BP issued 1-13-1944). Baum remained until 1949, when it was placed on the market that spring
  • By 1950, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick L. Ryon were in residence; he was a creamery executive who originated the Popsicle. The Ryons stayed until at least 1956
  • In residence by 1960 was insurance executive Hubert F. Laugharn Jr., whose father had been living in Windsor Square at 620 South Irving Boulevard for many years. Like his father, Junior settled in for a long stay. In 1979, he erected a 35' flagpole at the northwest corner of the house (BP issued 3-20-1979). The pole remains in place in 2016 

While auction advertisements similar to the one above appeared frequently in papers
during the 1920s and, of course, after Black Tuesday—more often than not they
included the name of the owner of the goods on the block. The occupants
of 426 however, continued to remain discreet in all matters involving
the press, as this notice in the Los Angeles Times of 3-16-1930
indicates. (Even as early as 1930, it should be noted, the
prestige of Hancock Park was usurping the geography
of decade-longer-established Windsor Square.)

43Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; southerly 75' of Lot 129
  • Built in 1917; BP for house issued 11-3-1916; for garage 2-9-1917
  • Original commissioner: Ludwig Schiff, vice president and general manger of the Western Wholesale Drug Company
  • Architect and contractor: The Milwaukee Building Company (Mendel Meyer and Philip W. Holler)
  • Mrs. Schiff, née Rose Meyer, was a sister of Mendel Meyer. Their brother, Gabriel S. Meyer, who was also at one time associated with the Milwaukee Building Company, was working as a salesman at the May Company and living with the Schiffs in 1936 when late on the evening of July 11 he was struck and killed by an automobile while crossing the intersection of Lorraine and Third. The errant driver was Howard Hughes, apparently returning to his home on Muirfield Road from the Cocoanut Grove with a blonde woman he at first refused to identify; 21-year-old Nancy Bayly surfaced a few days later, referred to in nationwide press reports as a "Pasadena debutante"
  • Rose Meyer died on 7-22-1952 while still living at 434 Lorraine Boulevard; Ludwig Schiff was also still living there at the time of his death on 3-8-1963

The architect's rendering as seen in the Los Angeles Times on 1-21-1917

435 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lot 102
  • Built in 1917; BPs for house and garage issued 8-23-1917
  • Original commissioner: Sanson M. Cooper as his own reisdence
  • Architect and contractor per BPs: S. M. Cooper. The actual architect was likely a draftsman in Cooper's office; Robert D. Jones, who would collaborate as architect with Cooper on many Windsor Square projects, had yet to join the organization
  • Sanson M. Cooper, who was trained as a minister at Bethany College in West Virginia, had come to Los Angeles from Cincinnati circa 1912, bringing with him artisans and crew. Still living at 435, Cooper died on 5-19-1935; referred to in his Los Angeles Times obituary as "Rev. Sanson Milligan Cooper," the "pioneer builder" was "credited with building hundreds of homes in Windsor Square, the Wilshire District, Beverly Hills and San Marino." Presumably 435 Lorraine—along with architect Lyman Farwell's house across the street at 444—is one of the best-built houses in Windsor Square
  • After her husband's death, Ella Cooper moved to 157 North Gower Street; 435 was soon occupied by screenwriter Sam Mintz (Tom Sawyer with Jackie Coogan, 1930, and Anne of Green Gables with Anne Shirley, 1934). Despondent over ill health, Mintz slashed his wrists and throat in a bathroom at 435 on 5-4-1937 (he survived)
  • 435 Lorraine, along with another Cooper project at 454 South Irving Boulevard, were the settings for the California Hospital Guild's Design House West held in the fall of 1971
  • To be noted is the very similar Cooper project one block east at 435 South Irving Boulevard

444 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; originally Lot 127 and southerly 95' of Lot 128
  • Built in 1923; BP for garage issued 4-6-1923; for house 4-11-1923
  • Original commissioner: Mrs. Flora Howes Farwell, wife of architect Lyman Farwell, as the Farwells' own residence
  • Architect: Lyman Farwell
  • Contractor: The Birch O'Neal Company
  • Mr. Farwell built a number of notable Los Angeles residences in practice with Oliver Dennis earlier in the 20th century; he left the partnership in 1913 after becoming a California State Assemblyman. He also served on the Los Angeles City Planning Commission; he died at 444 on 11-4-1933. Mrs. Farwell, whose father had been a founder of Rosedale Cemetery, served on the board of that institution for over 40 years; she was still living at 444 at the time of her death on 12-1-1957. The house was on the market during the next year
  • The southerly 70' of the property became the site of 454 Lorraine Boulevard in 1962

454 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; the southerly 70' of Lot 127
  • Built in 1962; BP for house and attached garage issued 7-19-1962
  • Original commissioner: banker Robert R. Sprague
  • Architect: Wallace C. Bonsall
  • The lot for 454 was created from property originally belonging to 444 Lorraine Boulevard
  • The house was on the market in early 1986 asking $795,000; the conservative "self-ruled" Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese acquired it that year for use as its local chancery for $610,000. Ambitiously if not avariciously, the organization put it back on the market two years later for $1,450,000. The church still owns it

455 Lorraine Boulevard

  • Windsor Square Tract 1390; Lots and 103 and 104
  • Built in 1912/1913; BP for house issued 10-25-1912; BP for garage 10-23-1913
  • Original commissioner: real estate developer Dr. Peter Janss
  • Architect of house per BP: J. Martyn Haenke; architect of garage per BP: J. Martyn Haenke and William J. Dodd. (Dodd was planning his move to California and association with Haenke during 1912 and had by the end of the year dissolved his partnership with Kenneth McDonald in Louisville, sold his house there, and left for the West Coast. He purchased 726 South Kingsley Drive as his Los Angeles home in February 1913 and was granted his license to practice architecture in California the following May)
  • Contractor for house per BP: George B. Evans; contractor for garage per BP: "none"
  • Two BPs were issued 12-23-1913 for (1) a greenhouse and children's play house and (2) for an "automobile shed." "A. Dodd [sic]" is listed as architect for all three structures; on the first BP, as on that of the original garage, the contractor is specified as "none"; noted on the second is "build it myself." Presumably these were references to Janss, who signed the documents and who, as a developer well acquainted with the building trades, could make his own construction arrangements
  • Janss sold the house to New York private investor William H. Russell in 1917; Russell commissioned Dodd (using contractor John L. Connor) to "build an additional bedroom and bath over one-story portion of S.W. corner of present building" (BP issued 5-1-1917)
  • For unknown reasons, Russell hired Pasadena contractor William Smith "to remove existing artificial stone-work of front entrance...and replace with new artificial stone; duplicate in detail" (BP issued 12-27-1918)
  • Isabel Russell retained ownership of the house after her husband died in New York on 11-9-1928; put on the market after the Depression set in, 455 was offered in a Times classified—which noted an original price of $250,000—for $55,000 "cash"
  • Louis Lichtenheim of New York occupied 455 during the mid 1930s; he moved to 627 South Irving Boulevard in 1937
  • By 1938, the house had been acquired by Walter K. Tuller, a partner in the law firm then known as O'Melveny, Tuller & Myers. He died at 455 on 9-27-1939
  • A later owner was character actor Lewis Stone (best known as Judge Hardy in the Andy Hardy series of films); he died at 455 on 9-12-1953 after suffering a heart attack while running through his yard in pursuit of three teenagers. The boys had previously annoyed Stone and his wife Hazel by sneaking swims in their pool and had returned to throw outdoor furniture into it as a joke. Stone's funeral was conducted at 455 on 9-16-1953. The actor had been preparing to take on the role of Oliver Larrabee in Sabrina, starring Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, and Humphrey Bogart; he was replaced by Walter Hampden          
  • Moving into 455 in March 1956 was Norman Chandler of the Los Angeles Times; the first of several alteration BPs was issued to him on 5-29-1956. Chandler and his wife Buff christened the house "Los Tiempos" (the self-reverential naming of suburban Los Angeles residences as though they were country seats was a family prerogative; see 2401 Wilshire Boulevard)
  • For the definitive history of 455 Lorraine Boulevard, please see Paradise Leased
  • Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #863

Circa 1932: Exterior alterations to 455 Lorraine in recent years, including atrocious fencing, have much
riled Windsor Square; at least the house's current interior decoration is hidden. Items now
missing from the façade are finials atop the central baustrade and the lions guarding
the entrance. Grandiose more than grand, it might be claimed that there are
more interesting, less institutional-looking houses in the neighborhood.

Illustrations: Private Collection; LATParadise Leased; LADBS